If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings might prevent you from completing these steps.

Show all

To turn on Windows Firewall

  1. Open Windows Firewall by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type firewall, and then click Windows Firewall.

  2. In the left pane, click Turn Windows Firewall on or off. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    Picture of the Turn Windows Firewall on or off link in Windows Firewall
    Turn Windows Firewall on or off link in Windows Firewall
  3. Click Turn on Windows Firewall under each network location that you want to help protect, and then click OK.

    If you want the firewall to prevent all programs from communicating, including programs that you have previously allowed to communicate through the firewall, select the Block all incoming connections, including those in the list of allowed programs check box.

To turn off Windows Firewall

Watch this video to learn how to turn off Windows Firewall (1:09)

Warning

  • You should not turn off Windows Firewall unless you have another firewall enabled. Turning off Windows Firewall might make your computer (and your network, if you have one) more vulnerable to damage from worms or hackers.

  • In addition to a firewall, you also need an antivirus and anti-malware program to help protect your computer. Install Microsoft Security Essentials or another antivirus and anti-malware program, and keep it up to date. Many of these programs update automatically.

  1. Open Windows Firewall by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type firewall, and then click Windows Firewall.

  2. Click Turn Windows Firewall on or off. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Click Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended) under each network location that you want to stop trying to protect, and then click OK.